Texas bill would ease cross-border rule

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 5/1/2013

A bill halfway through the Texas statehouse is intended to accommodate an increase in produce traffic as Mexico finishes the Mazatlan-Matamoros Corridor.

Overweight Mexican produce trucks now must be lightened, or divided into multiple shipments, to gain access from the city of Reynosa into McAllen, TX.

Critics of the rule say that the process is inefficient because produce companies often stop again in Hidalgo County to split the produce for distribution throughout the state. Instead, they want to set up an overweight vehicle corridor to avoid the extra stop in Mexico.

House lawmakers voted to advance a bill to the Senate that would allow affected Mexican-based truck drivers to pay an $80 per trip fee to haul heavy across the border. The fee could be adjusted annually for inflation.

Revenue would be used for road maintenance needs related to heavy truck damage.

A permit could be issued to drive on specific segments of U.S. 281, state Highway 336, Spur 29, Doffin Canal Road, and Farm-to-Market Roads 1016, 396 and 2061, or other designated routes.

The bill – HB474 – is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

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